Black Friday Becomes Bless Friday® – Bless Friday® Adds New Churches in 4th Year
Houston, Texas, Monday, November 17, 2013 – Since 2010, Houston area churches have provided an alternative to frenzied Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Continuing this tradition, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church (MDPC), Beacon of Light Christian Center, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Bellaire campus, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, St. Francis Episcopal Church, and The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church, are each scheduling community service projects on Friday, November 29. These churches ask families and individuals to celebrate Bless Friday® as an alternative to Black Friday.
Chuck Fox, founder of Bless Friday, states, “I am excited that The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church and St. Francis Episcopal Church are joining Bless Friday this year. People get our message that when we focus too much on buying things, we lose sight of the real reason for Christmas – remembering and honoring Christ. We want to begin our Christmas celebration by serving others just as Jesus did.”
Bless Friday will be more visible to the public this year with a post located at City Centre, a mixed use development in west Houston. While City Centre patrons are shopping on Black Friday, Bless Friday will have a station in the plaza where shoppers can stop and assemble bags designed to bless the homeless. Passersby are invited to take one of the bags to keep in their cars and hand out to the homeless. Pastor Brandon Gaide states, “On the most consumer-oriented day of the year, we want to offer a way of being constructively countercultural.”
Also this year, Beacon of Light Christian Center plans to invite the surrounding community to its church, located at 6655 London St. in south Houston for a day of fellowship and caring. The church plans to serve the community the entire day by offering food to the hungry, clothing to those in need, and activities for people of all ages. Pastor Anthony Gasery states, “Our community is filled with people who financially overextend themselves at Christmas. We want to show them a more positive and more spiritual way to celebrate.”
Some of the other activities planned around the city include: prepping food, cleaning the facility and welcoming clients at The Beacon, a homeless shelter established by Christ Church Cathedral; performing light maintenance and preparing the Gracewood Women’s Home for Christmas; holding an ice cream sundae party for the residents of Omega House, a hospice home for patients with HIV/AIDS; preparing shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts to be distributed by the International Seafarer’s Mission; bagging rice and beans for food pantries; improving the physical condition surrounding several churches; and picking up trash at Memorial Park and Memorial High School.
Chuck Fox adds, “The great thing about Bless Friday is that you don’t need to participate in these planned activities. Any individual, family or group can identify a need and begin their Christmas season with service.”
Bless Friday® was founded in 2010 in Houston to change the way Americans celebrate Christmas.